How to Avoid Receding Gums

Many generations ago, when a person got older, they were said to be “long in the tooth.” This phrase may have stemmed from receding gums, or gums pulling back from their normal position against the teeth. Even with today’s more advanced dental care, 88 percent of adults over age 65 experience receding gums around at least one tooth.

People of any age can suffer from gum recession. Poor dental hygiene plays a significant role in the development of the receding-gumscondition, but other contributing factors include genetics, use of tobacco products, misaligned teeth, tooth grinding, and trauma to gum tissue.

Fortunately, receding gums can be treated, and the condition can often be avoided by taking proactive steps.


How To Avoid Receding Gums, Step By Step

  1. Brush and floss daily – but not aggressively. It’s important to brush twice daily and floss once a day, but remember that your gum tissue is easily injured. Always select soft-bristled toothbrushes, and make sure you are brushing, not scrubbing your teeth!
  2. If you have misaligned teeth, discuss your options with your dentist. Many adults get braces, and interventions that properly align your teeth can reduce your chance of gum recession.
  3. Ask your dentist about using a nightguard if you grind your teeth. Grinding teeth can damage your smile in many ways, including causing receding gums. Custom-fitted nightguards can prevent grinding your teeth in your sleep.
  4. Don’t chew on foreign objects or use “teeth as tools.” Chewing on objects like pencils might seem harmless, but it can damage your gums.
  5. Visit your dentist regularly for cleaning appointments. Dental visits that include a prophylactic cleaning keep your gums healthier, making them less likely to recede.

 “Preventing receding gums before they start doesn’t have to be difficult, if you work with your dentist to identify and treat all your oral health challenges,” says Dr. Carol Ford.


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